New Metal Options?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by nancyliang, Jun 14, 2012.

New Metal Options

  1. Aluminum

  2. Brass

  3. Bronze

  4. Gold

  5. Nickel

  6. Platinum

  7. Titanium

  8. Other (respond in forum thread)

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. nancyliang
    nancyliang New Member
    Hey guys,

    We are looking into new metals for you guys. These will likely be wax-printed then casted metals, though we're also looking into other printing options like DMLS.

    I created a poll to get a sense of the most in-demand metals. Let us know what you'd like to see on Shapeways!

    Also, let us know at what price point (say for this ring or these cufflinks) would you be willing to pay for your favorite materials?

    Some of these materials may be in high demand, but currently priced too highly given the technology--so we want to make sure to work towards good choices for everybody at a good price point for everybody!

  2. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    Nancy, do any of these materials allow finer resolution than the plastic materials?
  3. BillBedford
    BillBedford New Member
    1/ Cast Nickel-sliver
    2/ Any DMLS

  4. Agent24
    Agent24 New Member
    Cast Iron was what interested me

    Aluminium and Titanium also sound useful.
  5. lensman
    lensman Well-Known Member
    I voted bronze.... love that metal with the option for me to hand finish and make it almost gold-like, or to give it an aged patina. Also, the price-point should be good; much cheaper than silver.

    Second choice would have been aluminum which I see is popular.

    I think gold, platinum and titanium are just going to price themselves out of most orders here; gold is just a stupid price right now and never seems to go down.

    I think the key thing to keep here is the fact that the metal is cast from a 3D printed wax mold. Although I like stainless steel the printing "rules" and often obvious printing lines keep me from using it a lot.

    Direct Metal Laser Sintering is all well and good if the resolution allows for a "clean" print.

  6. stop4stuff
    stop4stuff Well-Known Member
    I'd like to vote for two - Aluminium and Brass, but I can't, so will just go for Aluminium. My reasons for both, Aluminium for heatsinks and Brass for Steampunk items.

    As for price point for the two items, are they printable in the materials available now (images look like renders) and what kind of specs would sizing & wall thickness come is at?

  7. cadalu
    cadalu New Member
    I voted for brass but I would also REALLY love nickel, bronze and aluminum..

    I would guess at a price point somewhere between steel and silver.

    We definitely need a white metal option, aluminum or nickel, that gives us more detail than stainless and without the brass color infusion that stainless currently offers.

    I'm really excited at the prospect of new metals!! I've been laser cutting aluminum lately and would love to move to 3D on the material.
  8. BillBedford
    BillBedford New Member
    If these new metal are to be cast then the spec are going to be much the same as the silver ones. The limiting factor is the wax.

    Unless of course SW find another foundry to do the casting......

    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
  9. nancyliang
    nancyliang New Member
    For Aluminum, Brass, Bronze, Gold, Platinum--we can opt for wax + casting solution. So the design rules would be closer to Silver rules.

    For Titanium, we would go for DMLS. Pros: super fine detail, super thin walls. Cons: very pricey, and limited in geometries. Steep overhangs would either be rejected (eliminating a lot of designs) or the price would increase dramatically. So yes you can get super thin walls/details, but it comes with restrictions in other areas.

    Hope that helps paint the options a bit more clearly?
  10. lensman
    lensman Well-Known Member
    Yes, Titanium offered by one of your competitors is way out of my price league...
  11. pfeifferstylez
    pfeifferstylez New Member
    How about a "White Metal" alloy ?
  12. olasogaard
    olasogaard New Member
    Bronze, brass, aluminium, pewter, lead-less white metal - all will do.

    Is "detail as FUD, cost less than stainless steel" doable? :D
  13. TimberWolf
    TimberWolf New Member
    I am looking forward to Aluminium and Titanium, actually, provided that the allowed detail is finer than the current Stainless Steel process :)
  14. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    I'd like (lead free of course) pewter.
  15. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    So it would need a polished option and it would still look rough in the hard to reach zones. No idea if asking for pewter is worth it then, based in what is already produced in pewter by more traditional means.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
  16. stop4stuff
    stop4stuff Well-Known Member

    Rough in the hard to reach areas means more surface area for Aluminium heatsinks :cool:

    Alas, not so good for other metals and designs.

  17. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    It's a interesting thought, but if roughness really helps, every maker would already rough their heatshinks. Some kind of scratching, stamping or etching should do.

    Based in current IC and bigger heatshinks having rather smooth surfaces, there must be a reason against. Maybe roughness traps a small air layer. Or maybe more dust get trapped sooner. An insulated surface isn't good.
  18. Roy_Stevens
    Roy_Stevens New Member
    I don't remember this poll, but I'd really like brass or any metal comparable to Silver without the added price of a precious metal. Aluminum is too light, pewter too soft for my purposes. Brass looks really nice as jewelery when polished, but it does need to be clear-coated to avoid oxidation. A really nice option would be optional gold electroplating for silver and brass like you offer for SS.
  19. Agent24
    Agent24 New Member
    That would be because this thread was only made yesterday.
  20. stop4stuff
    stop4stuff Well-Known Member
    I don't think it is practical to reach in between the vanes of a milled heatsink to rough up the surfaces, but fact is more surface area means more heat transfer to air - I have several 'heatsink' projects in mind and not necessarily for cooling, but more like heat transfer. Just think how much drilled heatsinks for water cooled applications cost, we might have the opportunity (as designers) to come up with some rather special heat exchange devices ;)